March 18, 2012

"Hair-ay for Hair"

Today began with the realization of how blessed I am to have hair. I like my hair when it is curly and crazy, pin straight and prim, dry and fuzzy, and wet and unmanageable. I like how it keeps my head protected from the elements, keeps me warm, and lightly brushes my shoulders. I like my hair when it is up, I like it when it is down, and I like sewing hair bands to wear in my hair. I like buying little dishes of brown bobby pins. I like my bangs, and most of all I like it when my mother puts my hair in french braids. French braids is an art that I cannot do myself, but is something my mother is very good at. (In case you were wondering, this skill is not genetic).  But enough appreciation for my hair.

I have always felt called to donate my hair. My dream is to raise money and shave my head for a cause, but I'm not going to do this until a cause is placed on my hear. I was convinced I was ready in grade eleven, but I had plans to go to prom with someone that year and they made it clear that having a date who was bald was not exactly how he wanted to remember his prom. Out of respect for him, I waited. First year of university came and I wanted to donate at least some of my hair, but it was never long enough. 

There have been many days where I think about dying my hair and really making it my own, but there are many cons that come with dying hair: cost; upkeep; special shampoo; a long and smelly visit to the hairdresser who never fails to ask if I've been to any good parties lately; and most importantly, the inability to donate hair. So everyday I set aside my selfish and shallow desire to make my hair the world's view of beautiful so that in the future I may help one person to see him or herself as beautiful. To be clear, I don;t judge people for dying their hair or not donating it, simply for myself I feel compelled to donate it, so that is what I strive to do. There have been four women who have helped me to see this goal for myself. 

The first was a coworker at a summer camp I once worked at. She showed up for the summer with her hair chopped off and when campers would ask her about her hair she would tell them how she donated it and raised money for a cancer foundation. I looked up to her. 

The second was a leader of mine from a high school group, although she had very thin hair she grew it out very long and donated it. 

The third was a girl from my once-upon-a-time high school, even though I wasn't a student there at the time, a girl shaved her head to help support breast cancer, and it was a huge nudge in my heart. If this girl can shave her head for a greater good, and go to school (high school of all places) everyday and not care what people think, then I need to step it up. 

The fourth, and by far the most sentimental was a woman from my church. She struggled with cancer, and was the mother of a very good friend of mine. Before she passed, the church came together to raise funds for her and to support her. At an event that was held in her honour, she got up on stage and removed her bright pink hat. (I tear up every time I think of this moment, including now). When she took off that hat I saw her in her most beautiful state of life. She was living, she was alive. She was not merely existing, she owned her looks like I've never seen anyone do before. She was so incredibly beautiful, and it took something the world considers beautiful (hair) to be gone for me to see her indescribable beauty. She shone. 

So what's holding back this pony tail? I often make excuses to my self, "after I get graduation photos done" or "after I'm married", but the truth is, I may never experience those things, so the time is now. I will continue to grow my hair long and natural until I am able to filter out the purpose behind this nudge. I have some ideas already as to the cause and route this goal will go towards, so I'm sure I'll be able to filter them when my hair is ready. 

My day began by adding "Begin Donating Hair" to my life list. 
How Did Your Day Begin? 


  1. I've often thought of donating my hair, too!
    My day had less humble beginnings. I started my day with breakfast and by watching The West Wing.

  2. I began my day with a silly, teasing conversation with my hubby. I am finishing my day with tears of joy, sadness (because I miss her), and feelings of pride in a young friend who has beautifully honoured the most wonderful mother in the world!

  3. Do it, Annie! I'm super pumped for this idea of yours, go for it.